GlaxoSmithKline and Fiocruz extend innovative collaboration to research and develop new medicines for neglected tropical diseases

GlaxoSmithKline and the Oswald Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) have today announced a unique collaboration to research and develop new and innovative medicines to treat diseases which disproportionately affect people living in the worlds poorest countries.

Issued: London UK & Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

GlaxoSmithKline and the Oswald Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) have today announced a unique collaboration to research and develop new and innovative medicines to treat diseases which disproportionately affect people living in the world’s poorest countries.

This new collaborative framework, builds on a long-standing relationship between Fiocruz and GlaxoSmithKline, established in 1985, to manufacture vaccines for public health priorities in Brazil. These include polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus and most recently pneumococcal disease. The relationship has also supported the development of research and manufacturing capabilities in Brazil through technology transfer and scientific collaboration.

This expanded partnership will enable scientists at Fiocruz and GSK’s Tres Cantos facility in Spain (which is dedicated to diseases of the developing world) to openly share new research, ideas and know-how. Priority areas include Malaria, Tuberculosis, Chagas and Leishmaniasis. The agreement will initially be focused on Chagas and Leishmaniasis because of the experience of Fiocruz in these areas and the severe burden of unmet medical need for patients living with these diseases. This new alliance is based on GSK’s open innovation strategy which intends to stimulate broad collaborative partnerships, providing access to the infrastructure, processes and experiences of scientists working in Tres Cantos and Fiocruz.

Commenting on the new alliance, Dr Nick Cammack, SVP and Head of the Tres Cantos Medicines Development Campus said: “At GSK, we are committed to collaborating in the search for new treatments for many of the diseases that affect millions of people in some of the world’s least well off nations. Alliances like this one with Fiocruz, are critical to the progress and to the needs of patients. The expertise and knowledge that the scientists at Fiocruz will bring will help drive our discovery and development efforts.”

Fiocruz’s Vice-President of Production and Innovation, Dr. Carlos Gadelha, comments: “With this agreement with the unit of Tres Cantos, Fiocruz will expand the partnership with GSK aiming to research and develop new drugs for neglected diseases. Thus, we will gather the recognised expertise of both institutions in an area of great impact to public health.”

About GSK Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation

The Tres Cantos Medicines Development Campus is dedicated to discovering new medicines to address Diseases of the Developing World (DDW). In January this year,GSK created the not-for profit Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation with £5m seed funding. The Open Lab Foundation is designed to facilitate collaborations across academia and industry. GSK has also made available capacity for up to 60 scientists from around the world to have access to its facilities in Spain, and is inviting external scientists – with funding from the Open Lab Foundation - to tap into the expertise, knowledge and infrastructure of the company, while pursuing their own projects as part of an integrated drug discovery team.

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About Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, known as Fiocruz)

Inaugurated on May 25, 1900 under the name of Federal Serotherapy Institute, Fiocruz was given the mission of fighting the great problems of public health in Brazil. Therefore, Fiocruz became a think tank concerned with Brazilian reality and experimental medicine.

To promote health and social development, to forge and disseminate scientific and technological knowledge, to be an agent of citizenship are concepts that have guided Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, attached to the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the most prominent science and technology health institution in Latin America.

Today the institution is responsible for a range of activities which include research development; highly-regarded hospital and ambulatory care services; production of vaccines, drugs, reagents, and diagnostic kits; education and training of human resources; information and communication in the area of health, science and technology; quality control of products and services, and the implementation of social programs. It has over 7,500 employees and health professionals with different levels of involvement, a workforce proud of being at the service of life.

For more information, please visit the Fiocruz website.